There are some people (the guy who made this website is a great example) who can be directly pinpointed as supporters of Standing There Productions.


There are others whose contributions are less tangible, but whose support is constant and deeply valued.


Every time Standing There Productions does a show, these people emerge from nowhere, smiling warmly at us from across the foyer, only to disappear back into the night without knowing how much the warm smile offsets the panic, calms the nerves and puts things in perspective. Rita has a few constant supporters, Stew has a few, I have a few, various performers always point out theirs… It’s a real thrill.


One of my longest-standing supporters has been the Principal of my primary school, the wise and wryly amusing Pennie Puckey, who ran the school I attended from prep until grade six, where I was encouraged to write, draw, paint, and perform, and where I was discouraged (unsuccessfully) from making mud pies and abandoning entirely the practice of mathematics and science.


When I was a kid, Pennie Puckey knew when I was lying, knew when I was showing off, and made me think about how I treated other people. She encouraged me with my writing and performing. All these things have shaped how I live and work as a writer, director and as a human being. In 1998, she and others from the school (somehow) discovered I was writing and directing shows at Melbourne University. Since then, she has seen many of my theatre shows, up until very recently.


I never really got to talk to Pennie, as an adult, in the theatre foyer where I was always having brief conversations and grinning at everyone. I never got to tell her how proud the little kid in me was to see her in the audience, attentive and keen and never missing a trick. Being so sensible and wise and having such a large impact on my early life, I was so proud to have her in the audience.


Pennie passed away on Friday.

I will miss her.


Thank to everyone who comes to our shows, comments on our website, sees our films and videos, and smiles at us from across the foyer. We appreciate it more than you know.